W. Ralph Eubanks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
W. Ralph Eubanks
W. Ralph Eubanks 4558.JPG
Born Warren Ralph Eubanks, Jr.
(1957-06-25) June 25, 1957 (age 59)
Mount Olive, Mississippi
Occupation Author; Journalist;
Professor; Public speaker;
Director of Publishing,
Library of Congress
Language English
Nationality American
Education Bachelor's degree in English and Psychology;
Masters degree in English Language and Literature
Alma mater University of Mississippi
University of Michigan
Genre History; Memoir
Spouse Colleen Eubanks
Children 3

Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg Literature portal

W. Ralph Eubanks (born June 25, 1957) is an American author, journalist, professor, public speaker, and business executive. From 1995 until May 2013 he was the Director of Publishing of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. In June 2013 he became the editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review at the University of Virginia. He has served as an advisor and adjunct professor on staff at the University of Virginia and George Mason University. In 2007, he was honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship, in recognition of his published memoir, Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey Into Mississippi's Dark Past, which Washington Post literary critic Jonathan Yardley named as one of the best nonfiction books of 2003.[2][3]

Personal background[edit]

Warren Ralph Eubanks, Jr. was born on June 25, 1957 in Mount Olive, Mississippi. He is the son of Warren Ralph Eubanks, Sr. and Lucille Richardson Eubanks. He graduated in 1974 from Mount Olive High School. Following high school, he enrolled at the University of Mississippi, earning a Bachelor's degree in English and Psychology. During his senior year, he served as the President of the Sigma Tau Delta collegiate honor society, which focused on the study of English and Literature. In 1978, he moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he enrolled at the University of Michigan, graduating in 1979, with a Masters degree in English Language and Literature.[4]

As of 2013, he lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Colleen (née Delaney) Eubanks, and their three children.

Professional background[edit]


In 1980, following completion of his master's degree, Eubanks began his career in publishing, working with the American Geophysical Union as a copy editor. He remained with the organization through 1984. In 1989, he began serving on the editorial staff of Hemisphere Publishing, where he remained for two years. As Managing Editor, he oversaw the production of over 75 books and scholarly journals. In 1990, he began working with the American Psychological Association, where he served as the Director of Book Publishing for five years. In 1995, he joined the staff of the Library of Congress as the Director of Publishing.[2][4][5] In May 2013 he was announced as the new editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review.[6] Eubanks left VQR in February 2015 after editing six print issues when he was told that his contract would not be renewed. Ron Charles, editor of The Washington Post’s Book World, applauded VQR’s "refreshing range of voices" in a January 5, 2015 article. A January 9, 2015 article in The Chronicle of Higher Education noted that Eubanks's departure "may provide lessons about how, and even whether, universities should manage their sponsorship of literary journals."[7]


While Eubanks was working with the American Psychological Association, he simultaneously served as a faculty advisor for Howard University's summer book publishing program. He remained with the program from 1992 to 1994.[4] From 1994 until 2002, he served as an advisor and adjunct professor on staff at the University of Virginia, where he worked with the Publishing and Communications Institute. While at the Publishing and Communications Institute, he taught a publishing overview class "The World of Publishing," a class called "The Business of Publishing," and was a guest lecturer in the University of Virginia's Summer Publishing Institute.[8] In 2009, he taught a class on writing the memoir in the MFA program at George Mason University. From January through December 2016 Eubanks served as the Eudora Welty Visiting Professor in Southern Studies at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Eubanks taught a creative writing course on "Crafting the Personal Essay" as well as the literature classes "Photography and Literature," "Civil Rights and Literature," "The African American Memoir," and "On Faith and Fiction."



Eubanks is the author of two books, which serve as memoirs of his life and family. His 2003 book, entitled Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey Into Mississippi's Dark Past, was recognized as one of the best nonfiction books of the year by Washington Post literary critic Jonathan Yardley. In 2009, Eubanks' memoir, The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South was released by HarperCollins. The historical biography takes a look at American identity and race relations, presented in context with contemporary issues experienced by three generations of his family.


Eubanks has written numerous newspaper and magazine articles, primarily focusing on academia and race relations. On January 1, 2006, he wrote an article for The Washington Post, entitled "DNA Is Only One Way to Spell Identity".[1] On June 13, 2006, his article "Still Learning From Dad" was published in The Washington Post.[9] His article "At Ole Miss, a Valedictory to the Old South" was published by The Washington Post on September 21, 2008.[10] Eubanks has written articles for Preservation Magazine, published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. His articles include "A Southern Awakening", published in the September/October 2003 issue;[11] and "Separate But Unequal", published in the July/August 2005 issue.[12]

He has also written an article on Affirmative Action for The American Scholar.[13] Articles for the Chicago Tribune include "A Trip Back Home for a Lesson in Justice".[14] Other works include "The Land the Internet Era Forgot" in WIRED, "Atticus Finch Confronted What the South Couldn't" in TIME, "Mississippi, The Two-Flag State" in The New Yorker, and "Color Lines" in The American Scholar.

In addition to newspaper and magazine articles, Eubanks has written book reviews for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. These include reviews for My Generation by William Styron,[15] Down to the Crossroads by Aram Goudsouzian [16]Sarah Johnson's Mount Vernon by Scott E. Casper,[17] Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese,[18] and Them by Nathan McCall.[19] He also reviewed the book A Father's Law, written by Richard Wright, which was unfinished at the time of Wright's death in 1960. In 2008, his daughter, Julia, finished the book and published it in his honor, on what would have been his 100th birthday.[20][21]


Eubanks has appeared in radio interviews on race relations for National Public Radio. In 2004, he appeared on All Things Considered, where he spoke about the 1964 murder of three American civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, whose deaths were attributed to members of the Ku Klux Klan.[22]

On July 27, 2009, Eubanks appeared as a guest on Talk of the Nation, speaking on race relations and police conduct in the aftermath of the arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. On July 16, 2009, Gates, who is a professor of African American studies at Harvard University, was arrested outside of his home following his return from a research trip to China. Upon his arrival, he found the front door of his home jammed and attempted to enter by forcing the door open. Police responded to a telephone call from a passerby, who alerted law enforcement of a possible break-in at the home. Gates was subsequently arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. While the charges were dropped five days later, the arrest sparked a nationwide debate, resulting in attempts by US President Barack Obama, legislators, law enforcement, and Americans throughout the country to ascertain whether or not the incident could be accurately represent racial profiling.[23]

Honors and awards[edit]

Published works[edit]

  • Eubanks, W. Ralph (2003). Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey Into Mississippi's Dark Past, Basic Books, 256 pages. ISBN 978-0738205700
  • Eubanks, W. Ralph (2009). The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South, HarperCollins/Smithsonian, 224 pages. ISBN 978-0061375736
  • "DNA Is Only One Way to Spell Identity", The Washington Post January 1, 2006.[1]
  • "Still Learning From Dad", The Washington Post, June 13, 2006[9]
  • "At Ole Miss, a Valedictory to the Old South", The Washington Post, September 21, 2008[10]


  1. ^ a b c Eubanks, Ralph W. (2006-01-01). "DNA Is Only One Way to Spell Identity". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  2. ^ a b Sandweiss, Martha A. (2009-07-19). "Book Review: The House at the End of the Road by W. Ralph Eubanks". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  3. ^ a b "W. Ralph Eubanks - John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation". Gf.org. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  4. ^ a b c "W. Ralph Eubanks Named New Director of Publishing - News Releases (Library of Congress)". Loc.gov. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  5. ^ a b "W. Ralph Eubanks". NewAmerica.net. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  6. ^ Peede Parrish, Jon (May 1, 2013). "Ralph Eubanks Selected as VQR Editor". VQR. 
  7. ^ Monaghan, Peter. "Ouster of Editor Points to Challenges for Small Journals Hosted at Colleges". Chronicle of Higher Education. Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Faculty - Ch14: 2000-2001 UVa Graduate Record". Virginia.edu. 2000-10-03. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  9. ^ a b Eubanks, W. Ralph (2006-06-13). "Still Learning From Dad". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  10. ^ a b Eubanks, W. Ralph (2008-09-21). "At Ole Miss, a Valedictory to the Old South". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  11. ^ "A Southern Awakening". Preservationnation.org. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  12. ^ "Separate But Unequal". Preservationnation.org. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  13. ^ W. Ralph Eubanks, New America Foundation (1961-03-06). "Affirmative Action and After". NewAmerica.net. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  14. ^ "A trip back home for a lesson in justice - Chicago Tribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. 2005-01-10. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  15. ^ https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-confessions-of-william-styron-1434742166
  16. ^ https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303448204579336553019790652
  17. ^ Eubanks, W. Ralph (2008-02-24). "George Washington's Slaves". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  18. ^ Eubanks, W. Ralph (2009-02-01). "Healing the Past". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  19. ^ Eubanks, W. Ralph (2007-11-11). "Whiteness Falls". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  20. ^ Eubanks, W. Ralph (2008-01-13). "Fathers and Sons". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  21. ^ Powers, Ron (2004-02-24). "Ambiguities". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  22. ^ All Things Considered (2004-05-05). "Writer Explores Mississippi's Past". NPR. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  23. ^ Talk of the Nation (2009-07-27). "The Lessons Learned From Gates' Arrest". NPR. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 

External links[edit]